Getting sick of Y2K fever as the new year approaches


November 10, 1999|By Donna Koros Stramella | Donna Koros Stramella,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FIFTY-TWO DAYS remain until the millennium -- or what most people seem to think is the millennium -- and I'm already sick of it. Since January, I've been bombarded with countdowns -- digital clocks scrolling down not just the days, but the hours, minutes and seconds. I've seen and heard dire predictions everywhere -- in magazines, on radio programs, even at the bus stop.

Being a prudent person, I've taken a few precautionary measures. I've squirreled away some canned goods, bottled water and prescription medicine. My husband will withdraw a little extra cash, fill up the gas tanks and cut some wood for the fireplace.

But just when I thought we were ready, I began talking to others about the possible implications of Y2K. One woman rolled her eyes when she related that her neighbor had dug a latrine in his back yard.

Another resident turned a bedroom into a closet for his supplies. Gee, how much Spam can a family eat?

Survivalist magazines are selling generators, kerosene heaters and Army rations. Is this the brave new world we're expecting?

Upscale retail has taken a different tack. Marley Station is filled with "millennium merchandise," and retailers are banking on the idea that you'll buy something to celebrate the turn of the century.

For the kids, there's a "Crashing Y2K Bug," described as a loveable bug-eyed creature who makes a sound when dropped. Doesn't sound very cuddly.

For those attending lavish celebrations, department stores are carrying velvet shoes and purses with "2000" in rhinestones. For those planning to ring in the new year playing board games, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit are both offering "millennium editions."

Collectors better start saving their pennies. Peter Jennings is host of a "Century in Review" video set, and Sony offers recording artists ranging from Barbara Streisand to Pearl Jam in "Century of Music." And there's even something for me. Editor Josh Freed has put together "2000 Reasons to Hate the Millennium: A 21st Century Survival Guide" for Waldenbooks. No fallout shelter will be complete without it.

American Education Week

Schools will open their doors next week in celebration of American Education Week. Parents and guardians are invited to spend some time in their children's classrooms.

Corkran Middle School, 7600 Quarterfield Road, will hold an open house from 8 a.m. to 2: 30 p.m. Nov. 17. Information: 410-222-6493.

Freetown Elementary, 7904 Freetown Road, has scheduled visiting times from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2: 30 p.m. Tuesday and Nov. 18. Information: 410-222-6900.

Glen Burnie Elementary, 500 Marlboro Road, will have classroom visits from 9 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. Tuesday. Another visitation opportunity is Nov. 19, with Grandparents Day from 9 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. Information: 410-222-6400.

Glen Burnie High, 7550 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., invites parents to sit in on class sessions all week -- from 7: 15 a.m. to 1: 55 p.m. Information: 410-761-8950.

Glendale Elementary, 105 Carroll Road, has set hours from 8: 30 a.m. to 10: 30 a.m. Tuesday. An additional session for parents of afternoon pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students has been scheduled for 1 p.m. to 2: 30 p.m. that day. Information: 410-222-6404.

Marley Elementary, 201 Marley Station Road, invites parents to visit from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Nov. 17. Parents of afternoon pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students can visit from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A book fair also will be open during school hours in the media center through Nov. 23. Information: 410-222-6414.

Marley Middle, 7730 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., invites parents to visit all week, from 8: 25 a.m. to 2: 50 p.m. Information: 410-761-0934.

Point Pleasant Elementary, 1035 Dumbarton Road, will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 17. Information: 410-222-6425.

Southgate Elementary, 290 Shetland Lane, has scheduled visiting for 9 a.m. to 11: 15 a.m. Nov. 17, with an additional session from 1: 30 p.m. to 2: 45 p.m. for parents of afternoon kindergarten students. Information: 410-222-6445.

Woodside Elementary, 160 Funke Road, will have visiting times from 8: 30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12: 30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 17. Information: 410-222-6910.

Diabetes lecture

With about 15.7 million Americans affected by diabetes, it's not surprising that the disease is the seventh-leading cause of death in this country. North Arundel Hospital diabetes nurse-educator Patricia Meidenbauer will present a lecture, "Living with Diabetes," at 6: 30 p.m. today in the hospital's third-floor conference room.

Meidenbauer will discuss the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options. The lecture will also details on nutrition in diabetes management.

The program is free, but reservations are required. Information: 410-787-4367.

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